13 September 2021

Secretary-General Appoints Sawako Shirahase of Japan United Nations University Senior Vice-Rector

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Sawako Shirahase of Japan as Senior Vice-Rector of the United Nations University. 

She will succeed Taikan Oki of Japan, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his contributions to the University’s work on water issues in the context of climate change, as well as his initiative to engage the private sector in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals through the SDG Corporate Strategy Forum.

Ms. Shirahase is a sociologist whose research interests include social stratification and inequality, social demography and generation and gender studies.  She currently serves as Professor of Sociology at the University of Tokyo, since 2010, in the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology.  She also served as that institution’s Executive Vice-President for International Affairs, from 2019-2021. 

Her previous academic positions include Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Tokyo (2006‒2010); Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Tsukuba (2003‒2006); and Senior Research Fellow with the Japan-based International Institute of Population and Social Security Research (1997‒2003).

She has served on various Government of Japan councils and policy advisory boards, including the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ Statistical Commission and the Social Security Council of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

Ms. Shirahase holds a doctorate degree in sociology from Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

For information media. Not an official record.